Grown Up Avenger Stuff

A quick description of the sound could be “Hard Indie Rock” – perhaps Queens of the Stone Age mixed with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. What’s so special about the music? It has, even in the most dark intense moments, an embedded smile – a wish that the sound touches your heart in a way that makes you feel happy to be alive and good about who you are. In the meantime, the music is purely designed to get your heart pumping, your feet dancing, and spark a musical love affair with the band for life.

Related by blood and a profound sonic connection, perhaps unique enough to be the only band of it’s type, Grown Up Avenger Stuff combines a deep love for music with a natural talent for building songs that connect with heart and yet are just plain fun to enjoy.

Formed in 2009 in Charlotte, NC, the band, through an approach of uncompromising high energy live shows and unapologetically growing their fanbase, has been building popularity and ever reaching toward their goal of “saving the world one song at a time.”

Pushing into fantastic new experiences, 2014 was a banner year for the band as they continued touring to support their Sparkleton CD as well as road testing the constant flow of new music. With highlights such as being selected by London Tone Music to record in Seattle at London Bridge Studios followed by a single release (You Never Know) from those sessions, headlining the 50th anniversary of Festival in the Park (Charlotte), headlining NoDa Summer Music Festival, returns to events such as SXSW, Launch Music Festival, Music Gorilla Festival, SEMFest, Red Gorilla Music Festival, Drumstrong Festival, Celebrate Fairfax!, MidAtlantic Music, etc. Music placement on Pandora, selected for Columbia Records showcase at the world famous Bitter End in NYC, selected 2nd of over 10,000 bands for the Wordkrapht band competition, chosen as 2014 Breakthrough Artist for Beneath The Grid Music, self released a single – The River – which among other things immediately won song choice in the ZUMIC / Reverbnation song competition.

In love with the road experience of meeting new people and spreading music, 2013 saw Grown Up Avenger Stuff touring through the US Southeast, Midwest, and Northwest & Southwest, including 9 shows at SXSW, and the highly popular Launch Music Festival in Pennsylvania, in support of their critically acclaimed self produced CD release of Sparkleton. (Available at iTunes, Amazon, etc.. and of course at the Store link above)
Plans to hit New England in 2014 are in the works… It’s cool if we crash on y’alls couch?

The first real touring for the band started in summer 2012: Chosen out of over 400 bands to represent US in Canada tour, and then touring the US coast to coast including a spot at revered music festival Bele Chere, the band spent the rest of the year relentlessly growing fans and touring to promote their 2012 CD release of Alive (Available at iTunes, Amazon, etc.. and of course at the Store link above).

Band Members:
Deirdre Kroener: Vocals
Tyler Thomsen: Percussion
Hunter Thomsen: Bass
John Thomsen: Guitar

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Yoko Syndrome - Brussels group shot (landscape))

Yoko Syndrome

Yoko Syndrome has quickly emerged as one of the most promising bands of the Brussels indie rock scene. Their music draws on a mix of brit-pop, punk rock and electro. The band will release their first album “Nights Like These” in November 2014.

Their 2013 debut self-produced EP, Big Time Finish, sold out in two months. As winners of the We Never Stood a Chance 2013 online competition in Finland, Rosvot (Finnish music site) said: “Yoko Syndrome and its riffs sound irresistibly good”.

The band loves playing live and touring, and since its formation in 2011 Yoko Syndrome has performed in Belgium, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Czech Republic. The band also had the opportunity to support incredible acts like Hooverphonic and Afterhours when known as My Favourite Waste of Time. They have performed at the Brussels Jazz Marathon (2014), the Belgian Fête de la Musique (2013 and 2014), and the WEAD and Scène Sur Sambre festivals (2014).

Yoko Syndrome is Steve Lightfoot, singer and guitarist from Liverpool. Nicola Di Pietrantonio, a punk and ska loving bassist. Filippo Gagliardi, a blues drummer and percussionist. Alessandro Valdambrini, a keyboardist and synthesiser scientist.





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Direct Divide Touring U.S.A in support of their new single “Abduction”

The “violin amplified rock” trio Direct Divide have announced tour dates across the USA in support of their new single “Abduction”.

Tour dates are below:

● 9.18 Scottsdale, AZ – Rogue Bar
● 9.19 Chandler, AZ – SoZo Coffeehouse
● 9.20 Las Cruces, NM – High Desert Brewing Co.
● 9.22 Taos, NM – Taos Mesa Brewing
● 9.25 Albuquerque, NM – Zinc Wine Bar
● 9.26 Santa Fe, NM – Warehouse 21 Teen Center
● 9.27 Tulsa, OK – Downtown Lounge
● 9.29 Denton, TX – Hailey’s
● 10.1 Fort Worth, TX – The Grotto
● 10.3 Austin, TX – Gypsy Lounge
● 10.5 Houston, TX – Super Happy Fun Land
● 10.9 Chattanooga, TN – Rhythm and Brews
● 10.12 Cincinnati, OH – Chameleon
● 10.13 Muncie, IN – Be Here Now
● 10.14 Chicago, IL – The Underground
● 10.15 Battle Creek, MI – Music Factory
● 10.16 Kenosha, WI – Ashling on the Lough
● 10.17 Lima, OH – Avalon Bar
● 10.22 Annapolis, MD – Metropolitan
● 10.24 Orange, NJ – Hat City Kitchen
● 10.25 Philadelphia, PA – Legendary Dobb’s
● 10.26 New York City, NY – Fontana’s
● 10.29 Southbridge, MA – The Cannery
● 11.1 Newburgh, NY – Ritz Theater
● 11.3 Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
● 11.5 Indianapolis, IN – Melody Inn
● 11.6 Fort Wayne, IN – Berlin Music Pub
● 11.7 Lake Villa, IL – Swing State
● 11.8 Harrisburg, SD – Phoenix Lounge
● 11.10 Salt Lake City, UT – Piper’s Irish Pub
● 11.11 Jerome, ID – Diamondz
● 11.13 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theater Pub
● 11.15 Portland, OR – Tillicum



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on a bench

Clocks & Clouds

Clocks & Clouds is a Minneapolis-based instrumental trio formed in 2010. Consisting of Stephanie Shogren (violin), Lucas Shogren (cello), and Derek Powers (drums), the trio has found delight in combining classical instrumentation with rock aesthetics. Applying their penchant for grand sounds, Clocks & Clouds has commanded audiences around the country.

With music fitting for both film scores and rock albums, Clocks & Clouds has recorded two e.p.’s: Life Beyond Reason (2011) and The Creation of Matter (2012). Capturing the essence of their influences from Mozart to Muse, Clocks & Clouds creates a listening experience that is immediate and impacting.

Along with their active recording and performance schedule, Clocks & Clouds devotes time to inspire students and teachers alike. Believing that music education is an important factor in a child’s development, they strive to help kids rock out whether they are playing a Beatles cover or a Beethoven symphony.

Currently, Clocks & Clouds is entering the studio to record a new album scheduled for 2015.


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The Morning Birds

The Morning Birds

Dimond Saints lend their Future Bass spin to The Morning Birds signature sound in this low-end, sexy take on “Bloom”.  Dimond Saints’ remixes have topped Hypem’s charts continuously and have been feature on Billboard CODE, VIBE and Earmilk and now KJXM radio.

A Toast to the Glass Half Full Crowd

After two years of a undying urge, a sense of something to say, whispers that had to be answered, and living in an Idyllwild round house with no corners of stagnation, only round swirls which turned out to be a vortex of creative force that resulted in the opportunity to convert something into something that wasn’t, but is, a world of truths emerges, all wrapped up in celestial energy.

With hearts full of love, The Morning Birds have produced a song of illumination for you.

This is Bloom

Undulating forth, Bloom is a hybrid of global lounge pop and jazzy doo-wop. Here is the result of contemplatively creative Samuel Markus striking the beats and bass line in tune with Jennifer Thorington’s cosmically velvet vocals.

Bloom is something you might listen to on a lazy Sunday morning…or with likeminded friends on a late Saturday night. Or, just listen, love and allow.

Find Your Season

Fresh, funky and eclectic, Bloom is remixed by 5 DJs from around the world. It’s a melting pot of global grooves representing the seasons, gently urging you to decide, which season strikes your fancy?

Dig Your Life

The Morning Birds create, generate, and disseminate independently and artistically intact, as they can be, on their own terms. Looking forward in a world where you may feel the need to… pour yourself a glass half full, play the music, and call it good. Salute!

Source: The Morning Birds

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CD Cover

The Hydrothermal Vents

Hydrothermal vents are deep-sea openings that erupt with super-heated, chemically rich water from within the earths crust. Despite receiving absolutely zero energy from the sun, entire communities of bizarre life forms have evolved and thrive off of the energy provided from these structures. It has even been theorized that life on earth may have originated near these vents.

John Tielli and Tessa Kautzman, the charismatic Montreal duo known as The Hydrothermal Vents, boil with a chemistry that pulls listeners deep into their imaginative world. They were drawn together by a desire to create the ultimate dance music and by a mutual love of the Pixies, an influence which, along with other post-punk bands such as the Talking Heads and the B52s, helped shape their sound. With an experimental spirit and dreamy lyrics, The Hydrothermal Vents have created an otherworldly aural habitat, which according the POP Montreal music festival, “feels retro and original all in the same track.”

On stage, Tielli and Kautzman perform with energy and precision, using inventive vocal interplay including rounds, spoken word, ghostly howls and tight harmonies to recount their fantastical tales of the deep. Tiellis guitar dances wildly and unpredictably, dishing out gritty textures and playful melodies above the punchy, propelling pulse of Kautzmans bass. Thoughtfully crafted backing tracks add layers of infectious beats and synth hooks.

In just 2 years of collaboration, The Hydrothermal Vents have received significant regional attention from writers and promoters. The band performed at Pop Montreal 2013 and has shared the stage with bands such as Parenthetical Girls (Portland) and Hilotrons.

Tielli previously fronted two acclaimed bands, Metal Kites and Clark the Band, and has collaborated with members of Arcade Fire, Wooden Stars and Hilotrons. Kautzman, who began as an indie-folk solo artist in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, has released two albums and has contributed to Montreal projects Yellow Jacket Avenger and Bantam Wing.

The Hydrothermal Vents recently finished their debut album, which will be released July 5, 2014 and followed up with a North American tour in the fall. Entitled Secrets of the Deep! the album expands on the theme embodied in their band name: a mysterious life-giving energy and a source of light in the darkness.

Location:  Montreal, Quebec
Styles: Post-Punk/Dance-Rock
Similar to/RIYL: Buke & Gase, B52’s, The Pixies, Talking Heads, Devo, Kate Bush, The Kills
CD: Secrets of the Deep! (July 5, 2014)

John Tielli (vocals, guitar, midi programming)
Tessa Kautzman (vocals, bass)
Production: John Tielli



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c&galbum cover

Chris and Gileah

Chris and Gileah’s self-titled debut evokes laying in the grass on a summer’s night, staring at the moon and the stars, and contemplating the twists and turns your life has taken. With poetic introspection, raw emotional candor, breathtaking harmonies, sweeping grandeur, and pastoral folksiness, Chris and Gileah (The Love Library) tackles weighty topics such as the promise of youth yielding to the demands of adulthood, marriage, depression, and sweet love.

It’s both haunting and comforting—it’s an album of bold contrasts born from one profound incongruity: It was never meant to happen but it was also inevitable.

The backstory is that Chris and Gileah have been married for a decade, and both are esteemed solo artists with impressive careers. Chris was discovered through the Myspace craze of harvesting young talent, and found himself catapulted into the world of big record deals, nonstop national tours, and co-write sessions with Nashville’s finest hit makers. Gileah is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been featured in such magazines as Paste and Relevant.

After they married, Chris made a big decision. “I quit music, my priorities shifted,” he says today. “I had a great label and so many opportunities, but I felt a commitment to be married and be there for my daughter. I didn’t want to be that guy that came back in time for his daughter’s birth, and then just went back out on the road.”

Throughout the rollercoaster ride of Chris’s career, Gileah, a prodigious songwriter, remained an active and prolific artist. “It was a strange time,” she confides. “I was doing what I had always done as an artist, but here I was with a baby watching Chris’s career. It was complicated. I was so proud of him but, still, there was a struggle within me.”

The next chapter saw Chris working in the family business and Gileah doing what she always did, writing songs. Then, one fateful day, there was a twist in the plot.

Gileah was writing on the piano in the living room when Chris passed by. “I said to him, ‘sing this verse for me,’” Gileah says playfully. “He did and it was like ‘oooohhhh’, it was like an angel singing!”

That song became the dreamy, “Love On This Island,” one of many standouts on Chris and Gileah. “Gileah wrote all these songs,” Chris reveals. “But I feel like they are my songs. ‘Love On This Island’ was about her watching me grapple with depression.” Gileah adds: “They are your songs, you were the muse.”

The album is jeweled with reflective gems on day-to-day living, and each one is prismatic and earnest, capturing the emotional complexity of couplehood. “We’re not above bad seasons, but we love each other and that keeps us going,” Gileah says.

“Map In My Heart” recalls the duo’s relationship journey with the sweet longing of the harmony vocals perfectly evoking young love nostalgia. And “Stay Love” is a majestic “us against the world” slow burn anthem.

An essential part of the Chris and Gileah family is producer/writer/multi-instrumentalist Allen Salmon who produced Chris and Gileah and contributed his multi-instrumentalist talents to the project. Chris and Allen first worked together during co-writing sessions back when Chris had his record deal, later on Allen worked with Gileah on her solo projects.

Thinking back, Gileah says with a good-natured laugh: “I guess I feel like I caught that big fish by luring Chris back. I didn’t think he would sing again, and I missed that spark.” Chris pauses pensively: “When I hear the album, I just feel like it adds so much depth to our life, to our family, it’s real. It’s made my life better.”


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Why Wouldn't I - EP (cover)

Lara James

A few years ago, singer-songwriter Lara James asked herself a simple but bold question: Why wouldn’t I? She was on the couch watching a reality show on singers and reflecting on her unlived life as a musician. She was asking herself why she didn’t pursue being an artist.

In private moments during her high school years, Lara wrote songs that lived inside her heart and mind as blissful catharsis from the complexities of adolescence. They sounded good to her, but she never shared these secret and sacred little gems. Years went by and life blessed her with a healthy, happy, and wonderful family. She was overjoyed, but there was always songs singing softly within her. And then one day she couldn’t ignore them any longer.

“I had this moment where I believed if I sang, doors would open. I just felt this fate,” the Spokane, Washington-based singer-songwriter confides.

Appropriately, she calls her smoldering debut EP Why Wouldn’t I? (EUS Records/A division of Emphatic Artists Association). “The title is about the process of making the EP, the idea of ‘Why wouldn’t I got out and do this?,’” she affirms.

Lara’s musicality is focused and pristine, a mix of sensual classic sounds and modern, adult contemporary polish. It’s an aesthetic that calls to mind such artists as Shania Twain, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert, and Sarah Vaughan. But though it’s an evocative aesthetic, her artistry exudes a naturalness, a grace. “I love those artists,” she says of those she is frequently compared to. “But I just rely on who I am as person to create my music.”

Fate did intervene when Lara went online looking for a voice coach and found an LA-based producer/indie label owner that happened to be in the Spokane area spending time with his family. That was Jake Schaefer, and, in addition to vocal coaching, he became Lara’s creative collaborator, cheerleader, friend, and producer.

Lara entered her music journey bravely. Her second studio session was at famed Capitol Studios singing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” duet style with John Bobek. “I remember there were huge portraits of Sinatra and the Beach Boys, and I got a chance to see the mic Sinatra loved using,” she recalls.

Embracing a new era of fevered creativity, she wrote four new songs for the EP (the fifth song is a cover of Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls”).“I would sing things as I did dishes and laundry, and took the kids to school. I would get a melody in my head and work it out over and over while my kids got tired of hearing it,” she says laughing.

Why Wouldn’t I? introduces a broad array of sensibilities that reflect Lara’s multi-dimensional talents. The breathtaking “Tick Tock” seemingly roils with steamy innuendo like a sultry Patsy Cline track, but is in fact born from far a more innocent sentiment. “That’s about my kids waking me up at 5:30 morning and me wanting to go back to bed, but I hear the clock and know I have to get up!” she says. The haunting ballad “Love Worth Fighting For” valiantly and poetically describes the complexities of marriage. Here she sings: Sometimes it’s hard to rise above the noise, to see past this cloud of pain in my heart/Just when I feel like giving up and letting go, there you are with your arms wide open. And “Why Wouldn’t I” is euphoric pop track that outlines the manifesto that made this all happen.

Thinking back on her timeline as a creative person, Lara says: “I used to be shy and private, but now everything in me wants to run and take this places. I feel like I keep jumping off cliffs, and there is always a lifeline below.”


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